I find it useful to think about things by way of metaphors. They’re a great way of painting vivid images without having to explain a bunch of stuff that isn’t relevant to the message I’m trying to communicate.
Thankfully, I’m not alone in this. I once read a great metaphor for serving people through business that went a bit like this:
Building a business is like digging a channel from a river so that you can redirect fresh water to a pool that serves a lot of people, rather than just sending someone to the river with a bucket each time some water is required.
I wish I could find where I read this particular metaphor again, because I’m pretty sure the original text did a much better job of painting the picture than I just did. But nevertheless, I’m going to use it as the launching pad for what I want to say.
Most likely in a situation where people are having to go and collect some water from a river with a bucket, they’re having to do so on a daily basis. Basically any time there’s a need for some water, some unfortunate soul is going to have to trek down to the river and fill the bucket again.
Depending on the size of the bucket, they may have to make more frequent or fewer trips, and the water might last for more or less time.
This, in my minds-eye – sounds a lot like having a job. In a job you trade your time for money. You only have so much time, so you can only earn a certain amount of money. You might get promoted, or you may get a pay rise – this is equivalent to having a bigger bucket – but you’re still going to have to traipse to and from the river to keep filling it up, because the water always runs out.
Digging a channel
Digging a channel and redirecting the water is clearly the better way to try to deal with the problem of getting liquid from the river to the people, homes and community where it’s needed. Of course, there may be some problems… The river might dry up. The channel might get blocked. Somebody might branch off their own stream from your channel. But you’re basically solving the problem of having to go to the river with your bucket every day.
You’re not just solving the problem for yourself either. By digging the channel you’ve solved the problem for other people in your community too. Many people can drink from the well or pool you’ve created as a result.
And if need be, the pool or the channel can be made larger, to serve even more people. It’s a scalable operation. Since the water is always flowing (so long as the river isn’t dry), you just need to expand the inlet (supply-chain) or the reservoir (outlet) so that more people can avail themselves of your services.
No-doubt there are any number of holes in this particular metaphor. But like I said earlier; it just serves to illustrate a point.
Serving the community
- Your vision is your permission.
- You are capable of your calling.
- You are much more powerful than you realise.
- Yes you can get everything you want.
- You are loved. You are enough. You are worthy. You deserve the very best of everything.
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